Wine Wholesalers Spend $3.7 Million On Hypocrisy

1183logo It was reported today that the Wine & Spirit Wholesalers of America have contributed $3.7 Million to the effort to kill the an alcohol distribution reform initiative in Washington State.

Initiative 1183, if passed, would get the state out of the business of distributing and selling liquor. The ballot initiative also would allow wine distributors and wineries to offer volume discounts and to sell directly to retail stores and restaurants if they choose. Finally, Initiative 1183 makes the commonsense reform of allowing multi-store retailers to warehouse their inventory in a central location from which the retailer may distribute it to their stores as needed.

There are issues with the Costco-backed Initiative 1183 that this writer would like to see addressed, such as the restriction on stores less than 10,000 square feet selling liquor. Yet on the whole, the reforms in this ballot initiative will help the state that needs revenue, put liquor sales in the hands of private business where it should be, and provide consumers with better choice and prices.

Why are an out-of-state, national wine and spirit wholesaler trade group dropping monumental amounts of money into stopping these needed reforms?

Wholesalers will argue that giving liquor sales and distribution over to the private sector in Washington State will lead to more minors getting drunk and killing themselves. But importantly, these same wholesalers don't make this argument in the many more states where they operate and see liquor sold in privately owned stores. The hypocrisy drips….as the does the money to support that hypocrisy.

But as you can read in the above linked article, the true reason alcohol wholesalers oppose this reform is because they "fear that Costco, which buys in bulk and sells product cheap, would become a de facto wholesaler, edging other distributors out out of the market."

Apparently reforms that are good for an entire state and their consumers can't get in the way of the wholesalers dominance of the American wine, beer and spirits industry.

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